25 Best James Franco Quotes & Famous Lines From His Most Notable Movie Roles

25 Best James Franco Quotes & Famous Lines From His Most Notable Movie Roles

Before James Franco took on roles in movies such as Spiderman, The Interview, and The Disaster Artist — before he received a Golden Globe Award for his depiction of James Dean in the biographical movie released in 2001, James Franco first believed that he should be a marine zoologist.

Franco went through many ups and downs throughout his childhood — even narrowly avoided juvenile detention in high school after multiple arrests for his underaged drinking, graffiti and attempting to sell stolen designer goods to his classmates. Thankfully, because of his father's pressure on him to maintain good grades and his participation in the theater program, the positive role models in his life led him down the right path, and he started his college career at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles).

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Still at the bottom as a college student and wanting to study to be an actor, Franco worked at fast food restaurants like Mcdonalds to make ends meet. Still clinging to his rebellious ways, however, he was caught stealing clothes to sell to his classmates. After finding out that it would take him two years to qualify for the acting department at his college, he dropped out, putting it all on the line to pursue his dreams of being a full-time actor.

James Franco's first gig wasn’t in a movie, but rather in a Pizza Hut commercial. He later worked on a series called Freaks and Geeks which led to him to befriending fellow actor, Seth Rogen. Over the years he was cast in movies like City by the Sea, Spiderman and popular stoner comedy, Pineapple Express.

Take a look below at some of the most insightful James Franco quotes from over the years.

1. Don’t believe what society puts on you.

“There’s a tacit belief that actors shouldn’t write books, they’re sort of allowed to direct movies but there will be a lot of skepticism, and they shouldn’t do artwork or music. There are these invisible roadblocks to gain entree to these areas for actors, and you kind of have to crash through those invisible barriers.” James Franco

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2. Work like hell.

“I don’t even like to sleep – I feel as if there’s too much to do.” James Franco

3. Do what it takes to achieve your dreams.

“When I was a child, I wanted to be an actor, but I had really bad buck teeth. I didn’t want to get braces, but my mom said I couldn’t be an actor if I didn’t get the braces. So, I got the braces.” James Franco

4. Know how far you’ve progressed.

“In my first two years of high school I got into a lot of trouble with the police for minor things: graffiti, stealing, crashing cars. It was teen angst. I was uncomfortable in my own skin.” James Franco

5. Do what you enjoy the most doing.

“I guess what I enjoy most is directing, because it incorporates all aspects of filmmaking. Directing is in the same line as acting – both are popularity contests, and in both you’re trying to tell a story through the film as a medium.” James Franco

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6. Share your thoughts with the world.

“I always see nice images like that but I don’t know what to do with them. I guess you share them with someone. Or you write them down in a poem. I had so many of those little images, but I never shared them or wrote any of them down.” James Franco

7. Embrace your art form.

“Acting is an art form and you want to take roles that are challenged and it’s more of a challenge I think to play dark characters. Not that I want to always play those, but it is a challenge and challenges are rewarding and fun.” James Franco

8. Are we Franco?

“Are we human or are we Franco?” James Franc

9. Appreciate the fans in your life

“The first piece of art that I ever bought-when I could afford it-was a Warhol sketch from the period when he was just getting out of doing commercial work and more into art. It’s a sketch of a young guy’s face. I guess the gallery that I bought it from thought I would like it because the young guy kind of looked like James Dean.” James Franco

10. Embrace the work that you do.

“Create your world around your work. Create your work around your life. Let other people help you shape it.” James Franco

11. Every person wants different things out of you.

“You know, directors kind of want different things. Some of them think that if they just are always talking to you and keeping your spirits up and everything that it helps you, and then some leave you alone and give you your space.” James Franco

12. Don’t listen to the negative things people say.

“It’s still hard for me. Even though people urge me to dress nicer, it’s hard for me to clean up and live a clean lifestyle. I think there’s something to be said for looking respectful and being presentable. It just doesn’t work for me.” James Franco

13. Do your passion even when no ones looking.

“When we were doing ‘Freaks and Geeks’, I didn’t quite understand how movies and TV worked, and I would improvise even if the camera wasn’t on me. I thought I was helping the other actors by keeping them on their toes, but nobody appreciated it when I would trip them up. So I was improvising a little bit back then, but not in a productive way.” James Franco

14. Everything works out in the end.

“All is good. Don’t worry, the pain will help you. You’ll get into some trouble, but it will work out in the end.” James Franco

15. Accept that their things out of your control.

“There’s this public persona that’s ‘James Franco’ that’s half my creation but half of it isn’t. Half of it’s what other people write about me or how they perceive me. [His art is] a way of using… an image that other people have created and re-presenting it.” James Franco

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16. That’s a cruel joke.

“For April Fools Day, someone played a really cruel joke on me. They stole ALL my mirrors and I had to go hours without seeing myself. I mean, I couldn’t even do my daily affirmations. What kind of world is this? I tell you, it’s artists like myself that really suffer.” James Franco

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17. Be grateful for the people who helped you to get where you are today.

“Of course there are some actors that are better than others and performances that are better than others, but they’re always embedded in the greater film. They are mediated through the work of so many other people: the director directs, the lighter sets the scene, the editors edit, the music gets put to it.” James Franco

18. Believe you can accomplish anything, even at the toughest of times.

“I was a black center in the middle of all the nature. I was nothing, but I could do anything.” James Franco

19. Be the best at what you want to do.

“No. No. It's not luck, Greg. Greg, you have to be the best. You have to be the best you can be. And never give up.” James Franco as Tommy in The Disaster Artist

20. Ignore the haters.

“They hate us because they ain't us.” James Franco as Dave Skylark in The Interview

21. Take the truth.

“Sometimes the truth isn't believable. But that doesn't mean that it's not true.” James Franco as Christian Longo in True Story

22. Believe in yourself.

“Before you achieve you must believe.” James Franco as Jake Huard in Annapolis

23. Dream big for what you can do.

“Tomorrow, this will all be yours, Greg. Watch out, here we come.” James Franco as Tommy in The Disaster Artist

24. Working together will help you a lot more.

“No, Greg. We are going to do it. Together.” James Franco as Tommy in The Disaster Artist

25. Accept your weird quirks

“You don't have to lie anymore. Katy Perry's your favorite.” James Franco as Dave Skylark in The Interview

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Steven Hall is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.